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VOL. 133 | NO. 129 | Thursday, June 28, 2018

Methodist Shapes Healthcare For a Century

Dr. Mary C. McDonald

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It was billed as the party of the century. It was a party that was one hundred years in the making. It was a worthy celebration of past successes entwined with the vision for the future of Methodist Health Systems and its positive impact in Memphis, and beyond.

The celebration brought together many of those who shaped its destiny, and the numerous partners who added to its multi-faceted growth and outreach into the community. Michael Ugwueke, President and CEO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare was on hand to welcome the guests, and was joined by Gary Shorb, the former President, and Gary’s predecessor, Maurice Elliott. It was an impressive trio of dedicated leaders who have shaped healthcare in Memphis.

Current and former Physicians, Nurses, Researchers, Staff and Board members came from around the area, and around the country to celebrate this milestone, and to be honored for the significance their roles played in reaching a century of excellence, innovation, and growth. Even basketball legend Magic Johnson was on hand to meet and greet the guests. And with his ever-smiling presence he accommodated as many of those “photo ops” as possible.

But the main attraction was the story of the hospital itself, the healthcare system it has become during the past one hundred years, and all of those who worked since its founding to ensure the on-going significant role it has on healthcare in Memphis and in our country.

Beginnings are about a vision that someone has that meets the needs of others, and the beginning of Methodist Hospital is no different. Concerned about the conditions of the hospital where his sick pastor was being treated, Mississippi planter John Sherard dreamed of building a hospital that would provide excellent care for patients. In 1909 the Methodist Board of Missions in the Memphis Conference recommended the pursuit of a hospital. Two years later the Local Hospital Committee held its first meeting and John Sherard made the first donation. In 1918 Methodist Hospital opened and the vision became a reality.

Throughout its history Methodist Health Systems remained affiliated with the United Methodist Church stating that it is faith that inspires their work of serving patients and improving the health of the entire community. They continue to seek affiliations with community organizations and congregations to work with the underserved in our community so that the best possible healthcare is open to all.

The not-for-profit healthcare system has grown to include locations and partners across the Mid-South. In 1969 the School of Nursing opened, followed by the opening of several more hospital locations. In 1995 Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital became part of the Methodist Health System. In 2002, a formal affiliation with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center was announced. Methodist Central was renamed Methodist University Hospital and became the principal adult private teaching hospital in Shelby County for UTHSC. Since then, several other primary and specialty medical partnerships have been established.

The next hundred years have just begun. Congratulations!

Dr. Mary C. McDonald, a National Education Consultant, can be reached at 901-574-2956 or mcd-partners.com.

PROPERTY SALES 50 389 12,758
MORTGAGES 21 248 8,003
BUILDING PERMITS 295 813 29,934
BANKRUPTCIES 35 164 6,064